Paula and Rachel

Yesterday was a big news day.  I can’t even imagine was it was like to work in the business.  I’m sure it was a busy day for all.

I purposely stayed home to watch the Paula Deen interview on Today.  I have always liked Paula Deen.  I have cooked many of her recipes, I own her cookware and I’ve been to her restaurant (which was unimpressive BTW).  I admit I’ve felt a little sorry for her these last couple of weeks.  I was really hoping that she would say something that would “clear her name” and shed favor on her in the American eye.  I was rooting for her.

Unfortunately that is not what we got.  She stumbled and rambled through an obviously rehearsed speech.  In my opinion, it didn’t seem genuine.  The kicker was how she was sniffling and wiping her eyes, but no tears ever fell.  Not a single one!  I’m sorry but when you are really upset you can’t stop the tears from falling.

So it looks like Paula’s professional career might be over.  At least for a while.  Don’t feel sorry for her.  She is still rich and set for life.  She’s just not going to be popular anymore.


I spent the afternoon streaming the Trayvon Martin trial.  I wasn’t going to watch the trial at all, but I figured if I can give hours of attention to Casey Anthony, I could do the same for Trayvon.

On the stand was Rachel Jeantel, the friend and last person to speak to Trayvon before he was murdered.  Folks, including myself, were criticizing her for the way in which she delivered her testimony. Yes, I get it, she’s only 19 and she speaks better slang than proper English.  Yes, I get it, that she had typical teenage attitude and rolled her eyes several times.  My problem with her is that she would not SPEAK UP.

She had to be told, probably 50 times, to speak up and speak into the microphone so that everyone could hear her.  The court reporter had to keep asking her to repeat herself so she could record her testimony correctly.  It was a travesty.

This girl’s testimony was riveting.  Her recollection of events was as sharp as it could be.  This was so important to the prosecution’s case, and now it could possibly be harmed because the jury couldn’t hear her.

Look, I have a three-year old.  And when she mumbles and talks softly I tell her to use her big girl voice and speak up so I can hear her.  And you know what, she does.  She is 3 so I don’t always understand what she is saying, but she follows simple directions and speaks louder when asked.

Rachel is back on the stand today.  I hope she got some good coaching last night and is prepared to speak loudly and clearly today.  Her testimony weighs so heavily on this case.


What did you think of Paula Deen’s appearance on the Today show?  Do you feel sorry for her at all?  Do you think it’s right that she is getting dropped by all of her sponsors?

Did you listen to Rachel Jeantel’s testimony?  What did you think of her delivery?  Do you think she is helping or hurting the prosecution?


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11 Responses to Paula and Rachel

  1. Tarsha! says:

    B and I were listening to an excerpt of Paula Deen on the ride to Grandma’s house and even B was like “she doesn’t even sound sincere.” I don’t believe she’s sorry. I think she is sorry she got caught, per se.

  2. Dark & Lovely says:

    I don’t feel sorry for Paula. Like you, I was willing to hear her out and take her heartfelt apology into consideration. But that “I is what I is” Popeye-inspired mess of a speech fell very short. I, too, was looking for tears, but she just sniffled and rambled the whole time. She could have taken a whole different angle with this, but no one is buying the rap of “I don’t have a racist bone in my body”. If you have sworn testimony that you said you wanted to have an event where black people serve and entertain you and dress like house slaves, there is no way you can take that angle.

    Today is the first day that I’ve watched the Trayvon Martin case. It is hard to watch Rachel’s testimony, but I’ve come to the conclusion that she has some mental issues (she’s 19 and a senior in HS). From what I heard on the news yesterday, she seemed to be hurting the prosecution, but today they are saying that the defense is making everyone feel sorry for her by grilling her so hard on the stand.

  3. Ames says:

    I cried as Rachel testified. She is 19 going to 12th grade. Special ed kids can stay in school until they are 22. 18 year old general ed kids going to 12th grade, get sent to adult school.

    I felt part of her issue was that she didn’t respond better when her friend told her he was being followed. The line went dead, and she went on with her day. She probably lacks the skills to express her guilt.

    I want to know why George Zimmerman is bloated? Does he think getting fat makes him appear like a victim?

  4. M says:

    No comment on Paula.

    Rachel – I don’t think she is special ed – she is just a product of her school system. Many are criticizing her but that is based on what they are doing in their homes and assuming that others are doing. If you were not getting on your daughter she would sound the same way years from now thats why you emphasize it now so it will be the norm. Rachel is the result of not having parents at home making her speak up and yes use the King’s English. If you are not practiced at speaking well you can’t automatically “code switch” once you’re in court. I’m not excusing her but I understand she is the product of her environment.

    That said don’t believe media hype – nothing in her testimony is hurting the prosecution. In general black people don’t trust the police. It is not in anyones nature to call the police and volunteer information. She was not ignorant to assume that the police would do minimum investigation and contact her as she was the last person Trayvon was on the phone with (even if they hadn’t determined that she was actually an “ear-witness”). Her truthfulness is not outweighed by her lack of polish. She is nobody’s fool.

  5. Joe Ann says:

    On Paula, her fake tears & oh how she is in so much pain is a load of BS. Paula has known for months if not a year, what this employee has accused her of saying. She has had plenty of time of gather herself & come up with a sincere apology. She put herself in this position. I have no love for a person that can make a mockery of slavery. Guess what Paula, slavery was more than painful for our ancestors!

  6. LaShawn says:

    Paula Dean……I watched the interview thinking that her PR people would have gotten her a good story and prepped her to give a GREAT interview and repent repent repent. She didn’t even say she was sorry. FAIL.

    Rachel is a sad product of her upbringing and environment. She is who she is and we can’t change that. It isn’ther fault that she is the key witness in the case. It isn’t her fault that the defense is exploiting every bit of what we all see as her inadequacies and lack of polish. I admire her courage. She is under a lot of pressure as a key witness in this trial. Do you think she didn’t know what they were trying to do to her? Don’t you think she knows how she looks, how she sounds, how she appears? The defense was trying to break someone who is already broken. And in the end, I think that reflected badly on them.

  7. Chenikka says:

    Paula- She is only sorry she was caught. I could understand if her use of the word was limited to the civil rights era but she has been using it nonstop! Paula have several seats. During the interview, she also stated she didn’t know the word was offensive to black people O_O.
    Rachel – Yesterday a lot of people were saying wasn’t prepped well. I disagree; I think the prosecution team did the best they could…

  8. AR Gal says:

    “The kicker was how she was sniffling and wiping her eyes, but no tears ever fell. Not a single one!”


    “My problem with her is that she would not SPEAK UP”

    Annnnnnnnnnnd THIS!!

  9. Nerd Girl says:

    I started to feel sorry for PD. I really did. Who among us has not uttered a racial slur at some point in life? But then all that foolishness about a wedding with “slaves” as waiters. And that tape circulating with her talking about how her poor distressed great grandfather (or whoever) shot himself because he lost the war and all of his “help.” Yeah, no. Go sit down somewhere and enjoy your $. With your mouth shut.

    I think Rachel was a good witness, very credible to me – and I fully cop to being biased in this case, and her story did not change. However, she is poorly spoken. I get that she’s 19. I get she’s the child of immigrants. I get that she doesn’t want to be there. I get that this was difficult. But even after getting all of that, she sounds bad. She should be able to open her mouth and speak clearly.

  10. keyalus says:

    Paula annoyed me when she tried to imply that because the people in her kitchen regularly tossed around the “N” word, she should be able to do the same. Defensive much? I hate that particular argument against the use of that word because one has to question why some white people seem to be so eager to say it as well? Plus, a person coming from a position of privilige and dominance can never use that word in the same way that a black person can. I’m sorry, they just can’t.

    I’ve been glued to this trial which is unfortunate because it makes my heart very heavy. I understood every word the girl said, even though it was poorly put together, when I could actually hear her. You can’t mumble and then not allow your voice to be amplified too. She did much better the second day.

    That said, I found her believable. She lied about things, yes, but it was dumb stuff (like her name). She’s a teenager. She probably doesn’t really trust the police. She felt guilty about the situation. She was traumatized. She didn’t want to hurt Trayvon’s mother. I don’t think any of that took away from what she heard on that phone. I do fear that people on the other side may see it that way. They are letting the presentation take away from the substance.

    And while she may not be articulate, Rachel’s not dumb. The defense tried to get slick with her so many times and put words in her mouth. She stuck to her guns.

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